The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 brought in changes to the way that disability and access are addressed in legislation.

  • Reasonable adjustments are required of service providers or those exercising public function(s), controllers of let premises or common parts of let premises, employers, education providers and associations.
  • Reasonable adjustments concern a provision, criteria or practice; a physical feature or an auxiliary aid (such as a temporary wheelchair ramp).  Each requirement for a reasonable adjustment is triggered where the result of not having this would lead to ‘substantial disadvantage’ for a disabled person: ‘Substantial’ is not perhaps quite what we would normally think of, but defined in the Act as anything that is more than ‘minor or trivial’.
  • Also, it explains that in addressing a ‘substantial disadvantage’ this can mean removing, altering or providing a reasonable means of avoiding a physical feature.

The Equality Act 2010 covers a huge range in terms of discrimination, not only
concerning disabled people.  For example the lack of using ramps may also discriminate indirectly against women, who are predominantly the carers of children and use prams, buggies or push chairs.

It is always advisable to ensure that all disabled people’s needs and other access requirements have been taken into account and for this it may be advisable to consider use of an access consultant or auditor.